December 12, 2008

Mr. Elliot G. Sander
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
MTA New York City Transit
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Sander:

I am writing in opposition to the proposed Access-A-Ride fare increase. While I understand the current economic crisis has created the need to raise revenue, the plan to increase Access-A-Ride fares by 100 percent is unjust and disproportionately impacts people who can least afford it.

It is a common sight to see an Access-A-Ride van parked in front of Lighthouse International, dropping-off and picking-up passengers each day. As such, I am intimately familiar with the importance that this service provides and know all too well the enormous impact that this fare increase will have on riders.

For many, it is the only means of affordable, accessible transportation and is an essential part of daily life. It allows people with a disability to attend doctor and rehabilitation appointments, commute to work, run errands and remain active, vibrant members of their community. Doubling the fare to 4 dollars will cause riders to cut back on the number of trips and will have a devastating impact on their quality of life.

I urge you to find alternative ways to close the MTA's budget gap and forego the Access-A-Ride fare increase.

Thank you for your time and attention.


Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN
President and CEO



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